Choosing the right combination of traits and appropriate selection pressure is a true art. Our goal is simple: produce pigs that thrive under all conditions to support pork production at least cost. At Japfa Hypor we strongly believe in balanced breeding to succeed in that goal.
Our experts are able to use the within litter genetic variation in our selection process. It will be an enormous step forward in genetic progress, depending on heritabilities it will be 10 to 40 percent. Now great grandparent (GGP) piglets of one litter will no longer be anonymous piglets which have an equal expected breeding value. Randomly picking the best pick or an average pig will no longer be common practice. Future pigs will have their own genomic breeding value based on their own unique pattern of DNA-markers. This genomic breeding value will predict with a quite high accuracy what this pigs genes are worth for breeding.
To explain BLUP Hypor wants to give you some insights in the history of pig breeding. Different eras in the technologies applied in breeding can be distinguished over the last century. It all started with own performances and objective trait measurements in the beginning of 1900. In 1960 artificial insemination was introduced and the first private breeding organizations start their professional breeding programs.
In the nineties the implementation of the BLUP-index (Best Linear Unbiased Prediction) was finalized while computers and the internet became common. With the transition of single traits to multiple traits also came the pure lines versus the synthetic boar line breeds. Stress elimination to improve pork quality, the so called halothane testing, was a major break true. Between 2000 and 2010 the BLUP index is combined with gene marker technology. Various functional genes and markers are utilized in genetic programs. The genetics programs are linked to final product information of slaughterhouses.
Pedigree, Handhelds and Database
As the primary bases of the genetic improvement program Hypor has nucleus farms in France, Canada and Spain. In these farms we breed our pure lines. We measure and record a lot of information from our animals. The pedigree and the traits of each animal give us important information, such as weight, feed conversion, muscle depth and back fat.
The data that we have collected over the years makes it possible to estimate the genetic potential of a specific animal (breeding value). With these breeding values, combined with the conformation scores of individual animals, we can select the animals to be used as parents of the next generation. Our goal is to increase the performance and indeed the average breeding value of the next generation.
Our database, software and handhelds help us to get faster accurate information.
CCPS and testing
In 2000 - 2010 Combined Crossbred and Purebred Selection (CCPS) is introduced. It refers to the practice of using information from both purebred and crossbred progeny of a sire to estimate his genetic potential. The thinking behind this is that the genetic potential of an individual (boar) when he is used to produce purebred progeny in a nucleus environment is not necessarily the same when he is used to produce crossbred progeny. Hence the reasoning is that the ranking of, for example, three boars might vary when they are evaluated under the two different setups, or a combination of the two. We test continuously to update our knowledge and get better every day.
We can achieve our goal of producing pigs that thrive under all conditions to support pork production at least cost by balanced breeding. Balanced breeding means Pigs management and thus increase total system profitability in the entire value chain. The breeding of pigs is complex because multiple traits can be monitored and the possible configurations are limitless. We believe there are serious downsides to focusing on just one or a few traits. The relationships between the different traits is critical to increase total system profitability.
Hypor has been selecting for multiple important traits and showing consistent improvement over many targets. We sought to improve the overall performance of sow and finishing pigs by creating a balance in both the sow and her piglets.